How to Create Columns in WordPress Posts and Pages

Do you remember those early websites in the 1990′s that created articles that spanned the entire width of your computer screen? I felt like I’d run out of breath by the end of a line … that’s if I made it to the end of a line without losing my place. You almost needed a ruler up to your screen as if you were learning to read in grade 1 again.

These days most website templates and WordPress themes default to a post/page width that’s much narrower. However, sometimes you want to insert columns within a page or post. In some cases, you might wish to insert a variety of column widths within a post or page.

Reading narrow columns is easy and efficient; there’s a reason newspapers for years write in narrow columns.

Genesis theme makes it very easy to create columns within a post. In fact, as I show you below, you can easily create different columns within a page or post without knowing any code at all.  Below are the column options within this post:

2 columns in WordPress:

This is an example of a 2 column layout.  This was done using Genesis theme version 1.5.  You can easily create multiple columns in any post or page with this method.
This is an example of a 2 column layout.  This was done using Genesis theme version 1.5.  You can easily create multiple columns in any post or page with this method.

3 columns:

4 columns:

This is an example of a 4 column layout in a WordPress post.  This, like all other column layouts work in any post or page.  Don’t worry, you can change the text in each post or page.
This is an example of a 4 column layout in a WordPress post.  This, like all other column layouts work in any post or page.  Don’t worry, you can change the text in each post or page.
This is an example of a 4 column layout in a WordPress post.  This, like all other column layouts work in any post or page.  Don’t worry, you can change the text in each post or page.
This is an example of a 4 column layout in a WordPress post.  This, like all other column layouts work in any post or page.  Don’t worry, you can change the text in each post or page.

5 columns:

This is an example of 5 columns in WordPress.  This is getting narrow, but it’s still pretty awesome that you can do this so easily without messing around with tables.
This is an example of 5 columns in WordPress.  This is getting narrow, but it’s still pretty awesome that you can do this so easily without messing around with tables.
This is an example of 5 columns in WordPress.  This is getting narrow, but it’s still pretty awesome that you can do this so easily without messing around with tables.
This is an example of 5 columns in WordPress.  This is getting narrow, but it’s still pretty awesome that you can do this so easily without messing around with tables.
This is an example of 5 columns in WordPress.  This is getting narrow, but it’s still pretty awesome that you can do this so easily without messing around with tables.

6 Columns:

6 columns is the maximum number of columns in Genesis, unless you add more code to the CSS style sheet to accommodate more columns.
6 columns is the maximum number of columns in Genesis, unless you add more code to the CSS style sheet to accommodate more columns.
6 columns is the maximum number of columns in Genesis, unless you add more code to the CSS style sheet to accommodate more columns.
6 columns is the maximum number of columns in Genesis, unless you add more code to the CSS style sheet to accommodate more columns.
6 columns is the maximum number of columns in Genesis, unless you add more code to the CSS style sheet to accommodate more columns.
6 columns is the maximum number of columns in Genesis, unless you add more code to the CSS style sheet to accommodate more columns.

How do you do this?

  1. Get Genesis theme.  Read my Genesis Theme review for more information.
  2. Insert the code for your chosen number of columns found here into your page / post.How to create columns in Genesis WordPress Theme
  3. Edit the text for each column:
  4. If you’re using an older child theme, be sure to add the CSS code (copy and paste) into your child theme’s CSS style sheet.

Builder Theme also makes it easy to create multiple columns in WordPress:

You can create custom layouts that create multiple columns in WordPress with Builder theme as well (read my Builder theme review for more information). 

Builder uses a different approach from Genesis, but it’s easily done without any coding skills.  Instead of inserting code into a post/page (the Genesis method), you create a custom layout setting out your columns with widgets in the custom layout builder.

Builder permits 1 to 5 columns.  Check it out:

STEP 1:  Create columns in custom layout:
How to create columns in Builder theme for WordPress

STEP 2:  Create a new post or page.

In your editor, choose which layout you want.  I named the above layout “3 Column”, so I would choose “3 Column” layout.

STEP 3:  In the Widget panel, you insert your text in the appropriate widgets for that layout.

Why use columns in WordPress pages and posts?

  • You could create tables with this method.
  • Columns also make for a true “newspaper-style” article.
  • Just be sure you don’t confuse your readers with columns.  Readers may not understand an article continues in an adjacent column.
  • Columns can be useful for image and/or video placement within a post or page.
  • Columns help organize information.  For instance, you could start a post with a single column and then organize information in columns with headings comparing or separating information.
  • Be creative – I couldn’t possibly exhaustively list all reasons you would want to use columns – but no doubt having this capability may just come in handy with your website.

Why not use tables to create columns?

I use tables a lot and sometimes a table is better if you have a lot of distinct data.  However, tables in WordPress can get messy.  I’ve spent a lot of time correcting finicky tables in WordPress.  At the end of the day experiment with both because there are times a table is better.

For tables I use the TinyMCE Advanced plugin.

Which is the better method for creating columns in WordPress?

I prefer the Genesis theme framework method for creating columns in a particular WordPress post or page because I don’t have to deal with widgets.  Builder is a fantastic WordPress theme builder, but if you create many custom layouts, you’ll end up with tons of widgets to manage.  In Genesis, you manage your multiple columns and column content within each post and page.

That said, if you want a website with multiple custom layouts, then Builder is the theme for you.  It really boils down to what you need for your site.

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